Friday, July 17, 2009

Is Obama's Health Care Overhaul In Trouble

Considering all the buzz around the news that President Obama wants to sock businesses with a payroll in excess of $200,000 a year with a 14 percent tax to bankroll healthcare for everyone, this blurb from the July 10 Kiplinger Letter is especially timely...

Is health care reform in trouble? Could be. With fissures appearing in the Democratic Party and pro-reform coalitions starting to fray, a vote before the August recess is now unlikely, and odds of any reform are lengthening.

Employer groups are growing disillusioned as details of proposals leak out. The number of worrisome provisions… a mandate for employer sponsored plans, a public plan option, taxation of some employer provided benefits and so on… keeps growing, threatening to undermine their support for a major overhaul.

The absence of ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is hurting. No one else is as capable of bringing opponents together, forging the compromises needed. And rounding up the Senate votes required for passage is looking iffier. Moderate Democrats are balking at the cost and proposals for raising the funds. Kennedy’s ill health and Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-WV) may keep them from voting.

The cause is far from lost. The president is committed to an overhaul, though crafting a workable compromise and jawboning enough members to vote for it will surely test Obama’s mettle, as well as his leadership abilities. Look for him to take his case to the public, using the bully pulpit.

But there’s also growing unease among voters. Only a few months ago, employers, consumers, insurers and much of the health care industry felt that the status quo was disastrous and were willing to risk considerable change. There’s a gnawing worry that the cure may be worse than the disease.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Right on the mark. Obama was on the Today Show this morning with Meredith Viera talking about the Healthcare Reform.